Thursday, December 15, 2011
Around 30 years ago Gene Morgan and Dale Miller started the SV Outdoorsman Handicap Deer Hunt with the help from the US Corp of Engineers at Rend Lake.
In order to join the SV Outdoorsman each high school student has to participate in a number of activities that enhance both the community and the outdoors. They have to recycle 50 pounds of aluminum each year, get to go on the Walden Solo their junior year (have to camp by themselves for one night with only a pup tent and trail mix) and get the opportunity to help with the Handicap Deer Hunt each year. Both of my brothers and myself are proud alum of the Outdoorsman Club.
Johnathon was told he was joining the club his freshman year and 'if' he didn't enjoy it he didn't have to join the other three years. I'm pretty sure he'll be an Outdoorsman all 4 years of high school.
On the Thursday night before the first weekend of shot gun season, the SV Outdoorsman throw a banquet for all the handicap hunters. The students (SV Outdoorsman) get the opportunity to meet their hunter, dinner is served, raffle tickets are sold, prizes are given away! While it's a banquet, it's casual dress - most are in either orange or camo.
On the picture strip the top picture is of senior Anthony Acosta showing Johnathon the ropes on raffle ticket sales - it's a complicated process!
When the banquet starts, all the Freshman are introduced. They're required to quote the Outdoorsman pledge in front of the packed gym and receive their orange hat - inducing them into the club. The numbers in the club have been dwindling over the last couple years, but the Freshman class came on strong with 31 members! There are only around 60 students in his whole class. I hope they all stick it out through their senior year.
Multiple prizes are raffled off through out the night & a slide show of past hunts is shown. Sesser-Valier is probably one of the only schools in the country that not only allows a gun in the school, but gives at least 3 of them to a student! I think they gave away 5 or 6 guns this year at the banquet. The big prize was a $2000 Benilli that the kids sold $5 raffle tickets for. I've bought these tickets for approximately 25 years now and have yet to win.
Each student was required to sell at least 5 tickets, for each ticket they sold over that their name went in a hat. A 22-caliber riffle was given to one of the students by a random draw for selling raffle tickets. Some kids names were in the pot only 1 time, thanks to Johnathon's Aunt Amy and Uncle Michael - his name was in there about 60 times. He was the top seller this year! And as luck would have it....his name was drawn for the riffle!!
When I was in school, as long as you had your FireArms card with you then you could take the gun home. Of course times have changed and in the state of Illinois I think you have a 48 hour wait and the gun has to be 'sold' by an authorized dealer. Johnathon has never shot a gun, not because he wasn't allowed but simply because he never showed any interest. When his name was called,
1 - I think Poppa Deaner and I were more excited and
2 - he was a little naive as to what was going to happen
On the picture strip above the first picture (on the left) is of he and Mr.Sample posing with 'his' new gun. In the middle picture he attempts to walk back to our table with 'his' gun and you can see Mr.Sample telling him to hold on. The last picture is Mr.Sample trying to explain to a confused Freshman why he can't take 'his' gun! The crowd laughed, not sure Johnathon truly understood what was going on.
The Handicap Deer Hunt:
A couple weeks before the banquet, the Outdoorsman kids meet up early one Saturday morning and build ground level blinds for the hunters. They carry bales of straw and use whatever they can find in the surrounding area to camouflage the blind. The day after the banquet they have to be at deer camp at 3:30am to help pack up their hunter and get them to their stand. Most of the hunters are in wheelchairs or have limited walking mobility. Getting them across a field to a stand is sometimes quite a challenge. Once the hunters are situated, the Corp representative gives them their unloaded gun (hunters are not allowed to have a loaded gun while students are present).
The hunters call deer camp when they get a deer at which time the kids head back out, track the deer, field dress it and load it onto the hunters car for them. Being tired from not sleeping and then experiencing the sheer joy of seeing a hunter kill a deer for the first time since being handicap (thinking they'd never get to hunt again) is quite overwhelming on the emotions. The Handicap Deer Hunt is an experience they'll remember for the rest of their lives.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Dad tilling the ground. We're pretty sure Walter (previous home owner) had a strawberry patch where I'm putting the garden.
All the seeds waiting to be planted.
Johnathon planting lettuce - I'm ready for some wilted lettuce, hope it grows quickly.
Sunday (all day long) we had massive winds blowing through here. On the registered meters they clocked them at 68 mph. I'm pretty sure we had gust for well over an hour that were stronger than that. My parents barn isn't the only one in the "country" with damage similar to this. I'm standing in the barn looking up here:
The winds died down some but where strong again on Wednesday when I took this picture.
A barn in a small town south of us crumbled, literally, in the high winds. It too was over 100 years old and it has the same roofing as my parents, now I just need to figure out who owns the pile of ruins so I can see if they'll sell some of the roofing.
Well, time for me to get going, have a 1-year old birthday party to get to followed by Prom pictures for four couples in Benton. After the photo session I'm heading to Rural King to get more gardening tools and a few more seeds too! Hope you have a great weekend.
Friday, April 1, 2011
He and I were having dinner a couple nights ago after his Freshman orientation and he tells me "If you want to" you could get me an iphone for my 8th grade graduation and I'll mow your lawn this summer. Little did he know it was already decided he'd be mowing, I just didn't realize that it'd cost me an iphone!
After an initial response of "I don't think so", I'm actually considering his proposal. His current plan has a limited internet service on it already so the iphone after initial purchase will cost me approximately $15/month more or $180 per year. What are the chances that I'd find lawn service for the year for $180?? So will his 8th grade graduation include an iphone?
Saturday, March 26, 2011
I've been painting in the kitchen/dining room all day - I'll share pictures of what I've been up to either later today or tomorrow. Mom bought me a new gadget today and brought it over. A red tea infuser to match my red themed kitchen, isn't it cute!
Earlier today the sky was rumbling with thunderstorms (didn't rain much just made a lot of noise). A little after noon this is what I walked out to when I headed out to feed the cat my lunch leftovers......a lovely sleet/snow mixture. Mother nature is a little confused, she must have forgot that it's spring now.
After going out in the snow/sleet mix I decided to carry in a several armloads of wood and get a fire going, put on a pot of tea and rest for a few minutes.
My new tea infuser made a wonderful cup of tea - actually it made three cups before I got back to doing something. I was just so cozy with my blueberry vanilla tea sitting in front of the fire typing out this post that I didn't want to get back to physical labor.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
After Christmas it felt like I was at a basketball game 3-4 times a week, wait a minute I WAS at basketball games 3-4 times a week. I made custom storyboards in different sizes for each of the 8th grade boys that their parents presented them on the last home game. I also made an album for the coach that the boys presented to him that same night. Once junior high ball ended I was at the high school games and then volleyball began. Volleyball ended last night, track practice started yesterday with the first meet in 2 weeks - it never ends!
One weekend toward the end of basketball I had a 3 hour session with the junior high cheerleaders, it was a lot of fun. The junior high boys won regional and competed in state (didn't place but we're still proud of them) and the junior high cheerleaders also competed at their state (6th place but deserved 2nd at the very least in my opinion). I had a fun weekend in Springfield watching the cheerleaders, reliving high school memories.
I was hired by a couple other schools to shoot some of their sporting events - that's exciting! I didn't intend to become a sports photographer but always loved participating and attending sporting events of all types plus I understand the rules and flow of the events for the most part which I think is necessary to capture good sports pictures.
In addition I've done several newborns, toddlers and a few family sessions. I've also shot 2 birthday parties (80 & 90 year old folks) with extended family group pic's. So that's what I've been up to the last 2-3 months.......sports and pictures.
On the house renovation:
I'm having a love/hate relationship with red paint. I can't get it on without showing brush strokes and I've painted many a room, inexperience isn't the issue. I purchased an additive a few days ago on a friends recommendation that's suppose to reduce/eliminate brush strokes from showing. Repainting again this weekend and will let you know.
I'm 75% done with my kitchen/dining room ceiling! WooHoo!! I only restarted it 5 times, Sunday I tore half of what I had done down and kept going until I was done with that part of it (my neck and shoulders weren't happy with me Monday morning). Tonight I'm going to buy the cabinets & supplies necessary to build my kitchen island. Tomorrow Michael is coming over to move my light (it's about a foot off from being centered over the island which will bug the heck out of me if I don't get moved). Once he moves the light I can do the last step of the ceiling and it will be DONE.
I'm also purchasing the crown molding tonight. Hope to find time this weekend to at least get it painted and maybe hung next week if I get the red paint to cooperate.
Once the ceiling & walls are done and the island is semi built, I can finally lay my kitchen floor. Am I ever ready to have an actual floor and not a wood sub-floor. The only major thing remaining in the kitchen/dining room is the deck door (it's a window right now). I still have to find the one I want at a price I'm willing to pay. It'll be a May/June project.
I still need to remove the bottom cabinet doors (again), sand them this time and repaint them. I also need to paint the shadow box area by the ceiling - I'll have to show you a picture to explain it. I think I've narrowed down my fabric for curtains.
Hopefully by Easter I can start to decorate this area - hopefully.
I think that's enough of a 'catching-up' post for now.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
If you've been out late in Carbondale in the past 30 years or so you'll know who Winston is, one of the best parts of going out on the strip in Carbondale was Winston's bagels. You'd smell them toasting on an open fire the minute you walked outside.
I always ordered mine with cream cheese, cinnamon, bacon and apple slices. Here recently I found bagel tops (basically it takes all the thickness out of the middle which just gives you the top and bottom of the bagel)and decided to make my own Winston bagels at home. I toast mine in a toaster but the end result is still pretty darn good. In fact they've become a recent obsession of mine....
Back to work tomorrow. Not only is it the beginning of the month, but also the beginning of our fiscal year which means I'll be working, working, working. To top the week off, Johnathon has 3 ballgames this week. Joy!
I hope everyone has a great start to the New Year!